by Anton Shekhovtsov
The illegitimate “referendum” in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, which was held in this Ukrainian region at the gunpoint of Russian invaders on Sunday, has proven my point again. Supported by the pariah states such as North Korea and Assad’s Syria, yet strongly defied by the civilised world that is beginning to understand the terrifying nature of Putin’s Russia, the Crimean “referendum” has, however, been hailed as “fair” and “legitimate” by a number of European “election monitors” who have been hired by dubious European structures and who have clear links to the extreme right, as well as the extreme left.
The main organisation which invited right-wing and left-wing extremists to monitor the Crimean “referendum” is the Eurasian Observatory For Democracy & Elections (EODE). It is headed by Luc Michel (1958) and Jean-Pierre Vandersmissen (???). Both are followers of the major Belgian collaborationist and neo-Nazi Jean-François Thiriart and members of the extreme right Parti Communautaire National-Européen (PCN-NCP).
|Jean-Pierre Vandersmissen and Fabrice Beaur (PCN-NCP) in the break-away “state” of Transnistria|
The list of the “monitors” invited by the EONE has not been published in full, but – thanks to various sources – the following observers of the Crimean “referendum” have been identified.
Johannes Hübner (1956), member of the radical right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).
Johann Gudenus (1976), member of the radical right-wing populist FPÖ.
Johann Stadler (1961), former member of the FPÖ, current member of the radical right-wing populist Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ).
Frank Creyelman (1961), former member of the extreme right Vlaams Blok, current member of the extreme right Vlaams Belang.
Luc Michel (1958), former member of the neo-Nazi Fédération d’action nationale et européenne (FANE), current member of the extreme right Parti Communautaire National-Européen (PCN-NCP).
Jan Penris (1964), member of the extreme right Vlaams Belang.
Christian Verougstraete (1950), member of the extreme right Vlaams Belang, member of the pan-European radical right-wing Alliance of European National Movements (AENM).
Pavel Chernev (1969), member of the extreme right Ataka party.
Kiril Kolev (1990), member the extreme right Ataka party.
Erkki Johan Bäckman (1971), neo-Stalinist who does not recognise Estonia and Latvia as states. Banned from teaching at the University of Helsinki for distorting the history of the Baltic states.
Aymeric Chauprade (1969), member of the radical right-wing populist National Front, adviser on international issues.
Hikmat Al-Sabty (1954), Iraq-born member of the left-wing Die Linke. Known for anti-Israel activities.
Charalampos Angourakis (1951), member of the neo-Stalinist, eurosceptic Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
Béla Kovács (1960), member of extreme right Jobbik, treasurer of the AENM.
Fabrizio Bertot (1967), member of mafia boss Silvio Berlusconi’s right-wing Forza Italia.
Miroslavs Mitrofanovs (1966), co-chair of the pro-Russian party For Human Rights in United Latvia.
Tatjana Ždanoka (1950), former member of the Communist Party of Latvia, former member of the Interfront that opposed Latvia’s independence from the Soviet Union, current member of the pro-Russian party For Human Rights in United Latvia.
Mateusz Piskorski (1977), member of the radical right-wing Self-Defence of the Republic of Poland.
Milenko Baborac (1966), member of the far right, ultra-Orthodox Dveri Movement.
Nenad Popović (1966), vice-president of the right-wing eurosceptic Democratic Party of Serbia, president of the honorary council of the Russian-Serbian Friendship Society.
Zoran Radojicic (???), member of the far right, ultra-Orthodox Dveri Movement.
Enrique Ravello (1968), former member of the neo-Nazi CEDADE, former member of the extreme right, neo-pagan Terre et Peuple organisation, current member of the extreme right Plataforma per Catalunya.
Oleg Denisenko (1962), member of the neo-Stalinist, national-bolshevik Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
Srđa Trifković (1954), Serbia-born anti-Semitic and Islamophobic writer. Known as an advocate of Slobodan Milošević‘s regime.
This list gives us a very accurate idea of who Putin’s allies are: right-wing extremists, neo-Stalinists, eurosceptics, neo-Nazis, etc.* One question remains unanswered though: When approached by the EODE, a number of European far right parties officially declined to send their representatives to observe the Crimean “referendum”, but “monitors” from the National Front, Freedom Party of Austria and Vlaams Belang did go to the Crimea. The answer seems to lie in the European Parliament elections that will be held in May 2014. Since, in Europe, Putin’s Russia is being increasingly considered a very dangerous pariah state, it seems reasonable to suggest that far right parties do not want to risk alienating their potential voters and, instead, allowed their members to make individual decisions as to whether become observers at the illegal “referendum” or not.
In conclusion, some sad humour: many European “observers” were allowed to enter Ukraine so easily, because Ukraine had liberated the visa regime for EU nationals. They can freely travel to Ukraine and stay in the country up to three months. (The EU has not returned the favour to Ukrainians yet.) Russia has no such liberal norms, and the process of obtaining Russian visas is very complicated. If the Crimea becomes Russian, the extremist “observers” will have to arrange Russian visas to enter the region again. However, I doubt they would want to go to the Crimea: their task was to disrupt the peace in the region, rather than contribute to its prosperity and flourishing.
* – I should stress that this list is not complete, and I will be grateful for verifiable additions to this list, as well as relevant corrections and amendments.